What the Belgian newspapers are saying about Celtic 0-1 Anderlecht

A mirror image at Celtic Park as Celtic and Anderlecht form huddles pre-match. Picture: PA
A mirror image at Celtic Park as Celtic and Anderlecht form huddles pre-match. Picture: PA
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As Celtic’s Champions League group stage came to an end, we take a look at what the Belgian newspapers are saying about the match

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Het Laste Nieuws felt Anderlecht’s narrow victory in Glasgow was ‘deserved’, with their report adding: “Anderlecht dominated in Celtic Park. It was the first time in the six Champions League group matches that [Anderlecht] had more than 50 per cent possession.”

But the paper also lamented that no Belgian teams would be competing in Europe after New Year - the first time since 2004/05.

HLN journalist Pieter-Jan Calcoen also gave average ratings to the Anderlecht players based on their involvement in the Champions League group games, with Henry Onyekuru (4.6/10) and Lukasz Teodorczyk (4.5/10) copping a lot of criticism.

Onyekuru was described as ‘all too often invisible and not the best tactically’ with the Calcoen adding: “With his talent, his return should be higher. He can do better.”

Teodorczyk was branded ‘the joke of this campaign,’ with Calcoen claiming he had started well but got worse and worse.

A comment piece by Stephane Keygnaert in HLN claimed that Hein Vanhaezebrouck had arrived a week too late to have an impact on Anderlecht’s Europa League hopes.

Keygnaert wrote: “Had he been in place for the home game against Celtic, perhaps Anderlecht would have qualified for the Europa League today.

“With the flame extinguished, what remains is the victory in Celtic Park. That hateful zero points is gone - confirmation that Anderlecht are on the rise under [Vanhaezebrouck].”

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Het Nieuwsblad also carried quotes from Vanhaezebrouck, who said: “This was, I think, our best match since I came here. Against PSG and Bayern it was good, and certainly against Bayern we had a chance to take a point. But we missed chances [in front of goal] and gave away goals too easily. So I’m glad that today was a lot better.”

Goalkeeper Frank Boeckx also spoke to Het Nieuwsblad, saying: “As a team, we were fantastic. We knew it was going to be a difficult game, and if we’d taken that chance after two minutes, we might have done it.

Die Standaard praised Anderlecht for playing a ‘fine match’ while Le Soir quoted Vanhaezebrouck as saying: “I have regrets, but I am also satisfied with the way we played. This wasn’t the game where we lost out on [Europa League qualification]. We should have beaten Bayern Munich at home, or at least earned a draw.”

But ‘Big Hein’ added: “I’m happy we managed to make Celtic Park so quiet. It’s not every day that a Belgian team manages that.”

Also in Le Soir, Guillaume Raedts eulogised about Celtic Park, writing: “It was seven minutes before kick-off that the magic began in Celtic Park’s cathedral, when the sound system started playing the club’s anthem ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone.’

“It was the beginning of an indescribable atmosphere that gives you goosebumps and tears in your eyes, because the communion between the 60,000 fans around the field and the Scottish players is magic.

“A feast no doubt unparalleled in Europe and perhaps in the world.”

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